CWN - The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has called a special meeting, apparently to consider withdrawing from the Pan-Orthodox Council that is scheduled to convene in Crete on June 19.

With at least two major Orthodox bodies already having announced that they will not participate in the meeting, the Moscow patriarchate had called for a special conference to resolve disputes before the opening of the worldwide meeting. But the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has said that the Council will proceed on schedule.

”The Council is still on,” Archdeacon John Chryssavgis, a spokesman for the Constantinople see, told the Crux news site. “If one or more churches don’t attend, all the decisions made will still hold and be binding for all Orthodox churches.”

The Russian Orthodox Church has taken an opposing stand. "We proposed that the Patriarch of Constantinople hold a conference before the Council to tackle all the issues due to which Churches are now refusing to participate one after another,” Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the ecumenical-affairs department for the Moscow patriarchate, told the Interfax news service. “If these issues are resolved, then the Council will take place. If they are not, then it's probably best to postpone it.”

The Pan-Orthodox Council was intended as a gathering of leaders of all the world’s autocephalous Orthodox churches: an event that has not occurred since the Great Schism. The meeting, which has been in preparation for several decades, now appears to be in jeopardy. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Antioch have announced that they do not intend to participate. The Greek and Georgian Orthodox churches have also voiced serious misgivings about the documents presented for discussion at the Council.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"And when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. And for three days he could not see." (Acts 9:9)

By no means would he [Saul] have been able to see well again unless he had first been fully blinded. Also, when he had rejected his own wisdom, which was confusing him, he could commit himself totally to faith. Since he had not believed that the Lord had conquered death by rising on the third day, he was now taught by his own experience of the replacement of three days of darkness by the return of the light.

Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles from the Venerable Bede